Neural gain control measured through cortical gamma oscillations is associated with sensory sensitivity
Journal article, 2019

Gamma oscillations facilitate information processing by shaping the excitatory input/output of neuronal populations. Recent studies in humans and nonhuman primates have shown that strong excitatory drive to the visual cortex leads to suppression of induced gamma oscillations, which may reflect inhibitory-based gain control of network excitation. The efficiency of the gain control measured through gamma oscillations may in turn affect sensory sensitivity in everyday life. To test this prediction, we assessed the link between self-reported sensitivity and changes in magneto-encephalographic gamma oscillations as a function of motion velocity of high-contrast visual gratings. The induced gamma oscillations increased in frequency and decreased in power with increasing stimulation intensity. As expected, weaker suppression of the gamma response correlated with sensory hypersensitivity. Robustness of this result was confirmed by its replication in the two samples: neurotypical subjects and people with autism, who had generally elevated sensory sensitivity. We conclude that intensity-related suppression of gamma response is a promising biomarker of homeostatic control of the excitation-inhibition balance in the visual cortex.

response gain control

gamma oscillations

autism spectrum disorders

sensory sensitivity

visual motion



Elena V. Orekhova

University of Gothenburg

Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

Tatiana A. Stroganova

Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

Justin Schneiderman

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Quantum Device Physics

MedTech West

Sebastian Lundstrom

University of Gothenburg

Bushra Riaz

University of Gothenburg

Darko Sarovic

University of Gothenburg

Olga V. Sysoeva

Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

Georg Brant

MedTech West

Christopher Gillberg

University of Gothenburg

Nouchine Hadjikhani

University of Gothenburg

Harvard Medical School

Human Brain Mapping

1065-9471 (ISSN) 1097-0193 (eISSN)

Vol. 40 5 1583-1593

Subject Categories

Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)


Bioinformatics (Computational Biology)





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